A hard-hitting new short film released for Trans Awareness Week highlights the anxiety and struggles many trans teenagers face.
The five-minute video, Listen, features five young trans actors and was directed by trans actor and writer Jake Graf, who is married to Britain’s highest ranking trans soldier, Hannah
Documenting some of the common struggles young trans people go through, the film sees one trans girl terrified of the onset of male puberty.
A young trans actor stars in a new short film by trans writer and director Jake Graf; the video, Listen, documents the realities of being a transgender teenager from being bullied at school to the onset of puberty
One of the young actors highlights the trauma of puberty, saying that without blockers her body will change and her fears that her mum might not let her take them
The film coincides with Trans Awareness Week and raises awareness on the struggles young trans children face
Another trans girl is enjoying the first flushes of romance but her boyfriend won’t acknowledge her when he’s with his friends.
And a heartbreaking scene sees a trans boy trying not to eat or drink because he’s terrified of using the toilet.
A patron of Mermaids, the charity that supports families with transgender children, Graf said all of the actors in the film had themselves experienced bullying.
He told Femail: ‘As a patron for Mermaids, I see first hand the difference that support and understanding makes to a trans child’s life.
In another scene, a trans boy is seen resisting food and drink because he’s terrified to go to the toilet
And when a trans boy uses the girls’ toilets, he faces ridicule and mocking
Another child listens as her parents argue about her gender and says she’s rarely asked how she feels about it
Jake Graf says trans children ‘know exactly who they are, and while you may not necessarily understand it, it’s time to accept it’
‘Listen’ stars five brave young Mermaids kids playing trans roles, giving an intimate and often upsetting look at their day to day lives. All have experienced bullying, judgement and ridicule, yet all they quietly ask for is our respect and support.
‘They know exactly who they are, and while you may not necessarily understand it, it’s time to accept it.
‘I hope that Listen helps the audience realise that we all deserve the right to simply be who we know ourselves to be.’
Jake Graf and his wife Hannah Winterbourne, Britain’s highest-ranking transgender soldier, married earlier this year and are both campaigners for better rights for trans people
Jake is married to Hannah Winterbourne, Britain’s highest-ranking transgender soldier. The couple wed at Chelsea Town Hall in London earlier this year.
Both Jake, 40, and Hannah, 31, now campaign for better rights for transgender people.
‘The current conversation around all things transgender, while focused largely on trans kids and their right to exist, has rather strikingly failed to include them.
A trans girl happy with her boyfriend has to face up to the fact he won’t acknowledge her when she’s with her friends
Graf says: ‘I hope that Listen helps the audience realise that we all deserve the right to simply be who we know ourselves to be.’
It was important to me to give a voice to these bright, articulate and hopeful young people, who only ask that they be heard and supported.
We have listened to the arguments against simply allowing young people to be who they so desperately need to be, and now we need to pay attention to the kids themselves.